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Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood Paperback – February 4, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
- Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Her essays have appeared in various publications including: The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.
The Beauty Myth, her first book, was an international bestseller. She followed that with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century, published by Random House in 1993, and Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, published in 1997. Misconceptions, released in 2001, is a powerful and passionate critique of pregnancy and birth in America.
In fall 2002, Harper Collins published a 10th anniversary commemorative edition of The Beauty Myth. In May of 2005, Ms. Wolf released The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from my Father on How to Live, Love and See. The End of America, published in September 2007 by Chelsea Green, is Naomi's latest book.
Naomi Wolf is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. The institute teaches professional development in the arts and media, politics and law, business and entrepreneurship as well as ethical decision making.
She lives with her family in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
I see strengths in the chapters describing the truly typical dismissive prenatal care most OBs give (I say this as an experienced childbirth educator/labor support person/mother of twins - the dreaded "high risk" pregnancy that wasn't). It clearly says that there is no basis in fact or simple human decency in such a birth culture. The Post Partum Depression chapter is worth the price of the book. Honesty on that topic is often lacking! I actually liked the stories about women trying to negotiate changing marital relationships. Some have found them whiny, but they sound like some of my girlfriends conversations and rang true to me. I think she is overly pessimistic. Some of us find a good balance with our mates and are truly happy(rather than resigned) with the results.
It is true that a sense of entitlement doesn't render this a truly representative book. Where are the Latino, African-American and immigrant birth experiences. If she thinks hers was bad, she has no idea how truly bad it can get! I once consoled a sobbing 19 year old at a health fair, who told me how her nurse and OB literally yelled, "shut up!" to her repeatedly when she asked questions during her birth. I was horrified at Wolf's indefensible comments on LaLecheLeague. I want to know what meeting she went to (I suspect she actually didn't go to one).Read more ›
Let me start by saying that Wolf does make many valid points about the unsupportive and often negative way American society treats pregnant women and new mothers. For example, she rightly points out the stinginess of most employers when it comes to maternity leave; the unreasonable difficulty in determining important statistics like a hospital's rate of maternal death or percentage of patients who ultimately get C-sections; and the unwillingness of society to deal straight-on with the less romantic aspects of pregnancy and motherhood. And Wolf's critique of the patronizing "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (which is a minuscule portion of the book, but has received disproportionate emphasis in many reviews) is dead-on accurate.
Unfortunately, the important and thought-provoking parts of the book are far outweighed by the book's flaws: (1) for every one well-reasoned argument or analysis, there are at least two or three that are questionable or even plainly absurd. For example, is Wolf seriously suggesting that what a pregnant woman sees or does can somehow "imprint" on her unborn fetus? Consider her response to the morally ambiguous and extremely complex issue of selective termination: "What sort of violence might the surviving siblings remember in that place below memory?".Read more ›
I was disappointed that Naomi Wolf failed to cite more of the research that shows how skewed American obstetrics is toward pathologizing normal reproduction and protecting itself against a litigious consumer base. I was disappointed that Naomi chose (again) to represent her own upper middle class experience as the gauge against which our social treatment of reproduction and motherhood should be measured. And yet, her story shows that even women with resources and education are left blindsided by their transition to motherhood...
However, I was touched by the emotional voice that she shared--one which cried out for what should be (but really isn't) the right of every woman going through pregnancy and childbirth--unconditional emotional support, information geared toward her particular situation and effective advocacy at the birth itself. I felt the book did not go far enough in showing women the kinds of resources available for finding this, once the problem had been identified. There are many Internet parenting websites that contain a full spectrum of information regarding childbirth options.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Naomi R. Wolf (born 1962) is an author and journalist, who has written books such as The Beauty Myth, Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, Fire with Fire: The New... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Steven H Propp
Over the top bias. Was helpful in some areas but was extreme in others.Published 4 months ago by Marken1014
This book shifted my thinking about birth and my experience considerably. It goes into detail about options available to us, whether we know it or not. Read morePublished 4 months ago by neela
Eyeopening read to the reality of giving birth and motherhood.Published 18 months ago by Ashley Elizabeth
The book is an eye opner for wonen who have been through motherhood embarking on the journey. It will be a souce of guide for women of all ages.Published 22 months ago by tas
I was assigned to read this book to become certified as a doula. This is my favorite book relating to pregnancy and motherhood. Wolf is open and honest about every little detail. Read morePublished on October 3, 2013 by JPetke
This was a book club selection and I was very disappointed. However, it is completely one person's opinion versus another's.Published on August 22, 2013 by AMK
I really enjoyed this book- it gave me a lot of information I had never heard before! I gave it to my girlfriend to read after me. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Amy Vo